someone would tell me what it is that I’ve done wrong,
why I must be chained outside and left alone so long.
They seemed so glad to have me, when I came here as a pup.
were so many things we’d do while I was growing up.
The master said he’d train me, as a companion dog and
mistress said she’d never fear to be alone again.
The children said they’d feed me and brush me every day.
play with me and walk me if I could only stay.
But now the master hasn’t time, the mistress says I shed.
won’t allow me in the house, not even to be fed.
The children never walk me, they always say not now.
that I could please them, why won’t they tell me how?
All I had to give was love, so someone please explain.
why they said they wanted me, and then left me on a chain.
The Humane Society of the United States suggests that you not leave your pet outside
unsupervised any longer than you would leave a toddler alone, even if it is in a fenced yard. Pet theft in the United States
is big business, and it's on the rise. The midwest is a very high pet-theft area, and the thieves don't just take
purebreds. They are also looking for friendly, mixed-breed, companion animals to sell to research labs, and to use as bait
in training fighting dogs (despite the fact dog fighting is illegal in most of the 50 states).
Please take precuations or your "lost" dog could end up in the hands of "bunchers" who
steal dogs to be sold for use as “bait” to train fighting dogs. They may also be taken by unscrupulous Class
B dealers who sell dogs from random sources to research institutions for use in biomedical research, testing and education
Class “B” dealers are only supposed to obtain animals for re-sale
from other “B” dealers, pounds and shelters and from persons who have bred and raised the animals themselves.
However, “B” dealers routinely violate the law by acquiring animals from fraudulent sources and abusing and neglecting
them. These animals are often stolen pets, strays or animals obtained under false pretenses and deception such as “free
to good home” ads. It is virtually impossible to know the true history of an animal acquired by a Class “B”
dealer. Each time a Class “B” dealer sells an animal to a research lab, a strong possibility exists that it is
a lost or stolen family pet.
The RCHS recently became involved, once again, in
a heartbreaking situation involving puppies which had apparently been dumped in the country. Fortunately two of the pups were
found along the roadside and were rescued. The third, being more timid, ran when the caring stranger approached. She returned
the next day, hoping to make friends with the silver haired pup, but instead found it lying dead in the road.
With just a little effort on the owner's part, this tragedy
could have been prevented. First, if the mother of these pups had been spayed, no puppies would have been born. The spaying
could have been done at a low cost spay/neuter clinic. And just recently the Humane Society raffled off two vouchers
for free spay/neuter procedures. Second, contacting the Humane Society
and requesting assistance with placing these pups in permanent homes would have resulted in a better outcome for all THREE
Unfortunately, at this time we do not have a shelter to house all
the animals needing our help. What we can do is offer our support and assistance until a permanent home can be found.
When possible, the animal will be placed with a foster care provider. In some cases the owner may be asked to "foster" his
own animal/animals during the placement period. Assistance with medical care is also available as having an animal up-to-date
on vaccinations and parasite control will increase the chances of adoption.
If you find yourself needing to relocate an animal, or even an entire
litter, please take a moment to think about what life is really like for an abandoned animal. Then contact the Humane
Society before you decide to take that drive to the country. We are here to assist you in anyway we can.
Not all of the animals the Humane Society deals with are blessed with good health. Many are underweight,
full of parasites, and living in filth. Some have been abused, neglected or abandoned. These animals often require special
medical attention and socialization before they are ready for adoption. They are the neediest of the needy.
Dogfighting Fact Sheet
1. What is dogfighting?
Dogfighting is a sadistic "contest" in which two dogs—specifically
bred, conditioned, and trained to fight—are placed in a pit (generally a small arena enclosed by plywood walls) to fight
each other for the spectators' entertainment and gambling. Fights average nearly an hour in length and often last more
than two hours. Dogfights end when one of the dogs will not or cannot continue. In addition to these dogfights, there are
reports of an increase in unorganized street fights in urban areas.
2. How does it cause animal
The injuries inflicted and sustained by dogs participating
in dogfights are frequently severe, even fatal. The American pit bull terriers used in the majority of these fights have been
specifically bred and trained for fighting and are unrelenting in their attempts to overcome their opponents. With their extremely
powerful jaws, they are able to inflict severe bruising, deep puncture wounds and broken bones.
Dogs used in these events often die of blood loss, shock,
dehydration, exhaustion, or infection hours or even days after the fight. Other animals are often sacrificed as well. Some
owners train their dogs for fights using smaller animals such as cats, rabbits or small dogs. These "bait" animals are often
stolen pets or animals obtained through "free to good home" advertisements.
3. Are there other concerns?
Yes. Numerous law enforcement raids have unearthed many
disturbing facets of this illegal "sport." Young children are sometimes present at the events, which can promote insensitivity
to animal suffering, enthusiasm for violence and a lack of respect for the law. Illegal gambling is the norm at dogfights.
Dog owners and spectators wager thousands of dollars on their favorites. Firearms and other weapons have been found at dogfights
because of the large amounts of cash present. And dogfighting has been connected to other kinds of violence—even homicide,
according to newspaper reports. In addition, illegal drugs are often sold and used at dogfights.
4. What other effects does
the presence of dogfighting have on people and animals in a community?
Dogs used for fighting have been bred for many generations
to be dangerously aggressive toward other animals. The presence of these dogs in a community increases the risk of attacks
not only on other animals but also on people. Children are especially at risk, because their small size may cause a fighting
dog to perceive a child as another animal.
5. Why should dogfighting
be a felony offense?
There are several compelling reasons. Because dogfighting
yields such large profits for participants, the minor penalties associated with misdemeanor convictions are not a sufficient
deterrent. Dogfighters merely absorb these fines as part of the cost of doing business. The cruelty inherent in dogfighting
should be punished by more than a slap on the hand. Dogfighting is not a spur-of-the-moment act; it is a premeditated and
Those involved in dogfighting go to extensive lengths
to avoid detection by law enforcement, so investigations can be difficult, dangerous, and expensive. Law enforcement officials
are more inclined to investigate dogfighting if it is a felony. As more states make dogfighting a felony offense, those remaining
states with low penalties will become magnets for dogfighters.
6. Do some states already
have felony laws?
Yes. Dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states and a felony
offense in almost every state.
7. Should being a spectator
also be a felony?
Yes. Spectators provide much of the profit associated
with dogfighting. The money generated by admission fees and gambling helps keep this "sport" alive. Because dogfights are
illegal and therefore not widely publicized, spectators do not merely happen upon a fight; they seek it out. They are willing
participants who support a criminal activity through their paid admission and attendance.
8. What can I do to help stop
If you live in one of the states where dogfighting is
still only a misdemeanor, please write to your state legislators and urge them to make it a felony. To find out how your state
treats dogfighting, visit our page on State Dogfighting Laws.
We encourage you also to write letters to the media to increase public awareness of the dangers of dogfighting and to law enforcement officials or prosecutors and judges to urge them to take the issue seriously. You may want to display
our dogfighting poster in your community. For free posters, please include your name and address in an email along with the number of posters you would like to receive, and we'll send our catalog as well.
If you suspect that dogfighting is going on in your
own neighborhood, alert your local law enforcement agency and urge agency officials to contact The HSUS for practical tools, advice and assistance.
Article used with the permission of The Humane Society of the United States
Doors: The Horrors of Animal Hoarding
By Rebecca Simmons
To someone desperate to find a home for a litter of
kittens, the Chubbers Animal Rescue would have appeared to be the perfect haven. Nestled in a wooded lot in Caroline County,
Maryland, the former home of Linda Farve and Ernie Mills was a place where people could relinquish cats, seemingly secure
in the knowledge that the couple would help the animals find happy homes.
But in reality, behind the facade of the cheerful website
and rural home, tragedy lurked. When animal control officers and volunteers from the Caroline County Humane Society and The
Humane Society of the United States entered the home on May 1, 2003 they found more than 300 cats, including more than 70
felines in various forms of decomposition. If the smell of animal death weren't enough, volunteers also encountered surfaces
covered with inches of waste and garbage.
"In one part of the house, we were stepping on several
layers of feces and skeletons," says The HSUS's Krista Hughes, one of the volunteers who served as part of a team to document
the situation and rescue the cats. "It was disgusting. The amount of filth was unbelievable."
It didn't start out that way. Several years earlier,
the Humane Society of Caroline County had visited the Favre/Mills home and approved Chubbers as a legitimate animal rescue
organization. Soon afterward, the couple began accepting and, in some cases, actively seeking out cats from around the East
Coast. It wasn't long before the number of cats began to multiply, as this horrific case of animal hoarding unfolded.
A Deadly Obsession
For most people, the term "animal hoarding" conjures
up images of an eccentric "cat lady." Despite the stereotype that collecting animals is simply a quirky behavior, recent research
has pointed to a direct correlation between psychological problems and the tendency to hoard.
"Hoarding is very often a symptom of a greater mental
illness, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. For most hoarders, it is likely that their actions are the result of a true
pathology, even though they are still usually able to function quite well in society," says Randall Lockwood, HSUS vice president
for Research and Educational Outreach.
Because animal hoarders quite often appear to lead normal
lives, it's important to recognize when a person's fixation with animals has gotten out of control. The HSUS defines an animal
hoarder as a person who has more animals than he or she can properly care for. Another defining characteristic is the hoarder's
denial of his inability to care for the animals and his failure to grasp the impact his neglect has on the animals, the household,
and the human occupants of the dwelling.
What's more, hoarders are usually well-educated and
possess excellent communication skills. Many hoarders have an uncanny ability to attract sympathy for themselves, no matter
how abused their animals may be, which is often how hoarders manage to fool others into thinking the situation is under control.
"Very few hoarder cases simply involve good intentions
gone awry, despite the insistence of the hoarder that he or she loves the animals and wants to save their lives," says Lockwood.
"It's unbelievable how someone who reports to love animals so much can cause so much suffering."
House of Horrors
For many involved in investigating animal cruelty and
neglect, hoarding cases are among the most horrific they ever encounter. "The amount of suffering in a hoarder case is more
widespread and of a longer duration than most animal cruelty cases," says Lockwood. "Although the case of a dog being violently
killed is shocking, in a hoarder case the suffering can be felt by hundreds of animals for months and months on end."
Indeed, hoarding can have serious repercussions for
the animals involved. "Hoarding can often amount to physical, medical and physiological neglect in the extreme," says Lockwood.
The unsanitary conditions of the dwelling and lack of veterinary treatment and social interaction for animals all add up to
serious neglect. The animals involved often endure a variety of ailments, such as malnutrition, parasitic infestation, infection,
According to the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium,
many hoarder dwellings have been condemned as unfit for human habitation. Polluted air in some homes is so irritating to the
respiratory tract, because of the high level of ammonia present, that a visitor cannot enter without protective breathing
Because of the horrible suffering involved, criminal
animal cruelty charges are increasingly being filed in hoarding cases. Yet, because animal hoarding is linked to mental illness,
the most appropriate resolution is still being debated. A combination of therapy and long-term monitoring is the often the
best approach, in part because of the high recidivism rate. (Most hoarders revert to old behaviors unless they receive ongoing
mental health assistance and monitoring.)
Jail time may also be appropriate in some hoarding cases,
although, according to Ann Chynoweth, counsel to Investigative Services for The HSUS, it's uncommon for criminal charges to
be brought against hoarders, and even more uncommon that those charged receive jail time.
The Caroline County case was unusual in this respect.
Both Mills and Farve were sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years probation after pleading guilty to three and four counts
respectively of felony animal cruelty, yet they were scheduled to receive a mental evaluation only as an afterthought.
"We are pleased that Maryland's felony animal cruelty
law was meaningfully enforced in this massive case of animal cruelty, and we applaud the judge for acknowledging the severity
of the crime," says Chynoweth. "At the same time, we are disappointed that there was not more attention to the need of psychological
counseling in this case."
Community members can make sure hoarders get the help
they need, while protecting animals at the same time, by notifying local police and/or animal control if they suspect someone
is hoarding animals. In addition, as a basic precaution, anyone who is considering relinquishing an animal to a private rescue
group should first visit the premises and ask to see where the animals are kept.
It's vital that people work together to stop animal
hoarding. As the Caroline County case and recent studies illustrate, good intentions aren't always enough. It really does
seem possible to love animals to death.
Rebecca Simmons is the Outreach
Communications Coordinator for the Companion Animals section of The HSUS.
with permission from http://www.hsus.org/
Puppy mills are breeding facilities
that produce purebred puppies in large numbers. The puppies are sold either directly to the public via the Internet, newspaper
ads, at the mill itself, or are sold to brokers and pet shops across the country. Puppy mills have long concerned The Humane
Society of the United States.
The documented problems of puppy mills include overbreeding, inbreeding,
minimal veterinary care, poor quality of food and shelter, lack of socialization with humans, overcrowded cages, and the killing
of unwanted animals. To the unwitting consumer, this situation frequently means buying a puppy facing an array of immediate
veterinary problems or harboring genetically borne diseases that do not appear until years later. In 1994, Time magazine
estimated that as many as 25% of purebred dogs were afflicted with serious genetic problems.
Sadly, some dogs are forced to live in puppy mills for their entire
lives. They are kept there for one reason only: to produce more puppies. Repeatedly bred, many of these 'brood bitches' are killed once their reproductive capacity wanes.
Thousands of these breeding operations currently exist in the United
States, many of them despite repeated violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) is charged with enforcing the AWA; however, with 96 inspectors nationwide who oversee not only the thousands
of puppy mills, but also zoos, circuses, laboratories, and animals transported via commercial airlines, they are an agency
The HSUS, along with other animal-protection groups, has successfully
lobbied for increased funding for AWA enforcement. Although all 50 states have anti-cruelty laws that should prevent neglect
and mistreatment of dogs in puppy mills, such laws are seldom enforced.
The Pet Store Link
The HSUS strongly opposes the sale, through pet shops and similar
outlets, of puppies and dogs from mass-breeding establishments. Puppy-mill dogs are the "inventory" of these retail operations.
Statistics from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) indicate that approximately 3,500 to 3,700 of the 11,500 to
12,000 U.S. pet stores sell cats and dogs. PIJAC also estimates that pet stores sell 300,000 to 400,000 puppies every year.
The HSUS estimates the number to be 500,000.
Purebreed registration papers only state the recorded lineage of a
dog. Accuracy of the reported lineage cannot be guaranteed. The American Kennel Club (AKC), the most widely recognized purebred
dog registry, readily notes that it "is not itself involved in the sale of dogs and cannot therefore guarantee the health
and quality of dogs in its registry." Clearly, it is "buyer beware."
The "Retail Pet Store" Exemption Problem
The USDA has never required dealers who sell their animals directly
to the public to apply for licenses, regardless of the size of the operation. The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) excludes "retail
pet stores" from its minimum humane care and handling requirements, and it is the USDA's position that these dealers are retail
pet stores. However, many think that a person breeding animals on his own premises and selling them directly to consumers
is not a "retail pet store."
Each year American consumers purchase dogs from unregulated dealers
who sell animals from their premises. Many of the animals are sold through newspaper advertisements and via the Internet,
which means the purchaser can't see the conditions in which the dogs live. A number of investigative reports, however, have
revealed that these facilities can be horrific. Thirty-five years ago, Congress passed the AWA to, in part, ensure that breeders
provide humane treatment to animals in their care. AWA requirements include adequate housing, ample food and water, reasonable
handling, basic disease prevention, decent sanitation, and sufficient ventilation.
On May 11, 2000, a coalition of animal protection organizations and
individuals filed a lawsuit charging the USDA with failing to halt cruel and inhumane practices at breeding facilities. The
plaintiffs outlined the USDA's illegal actions in exempting pet dealers who were not retail stores from compliance with the
humane treatment standards mandated by the AWA. The complaint also described how the USDA's lack of appropriate application
of the AWA can lead to the injury, illness, and death of untold numbers of animals.
On July 31, 2001, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
ruled that the language and history of the AWA clearly show that an individual who sells dogs and cats from his or her own
premises is not a "retail pet store." Thus, the court found that USDA's exclusion of all commercial dealers who sell dogs
and cats directly to the public is in violation of Congress' express intent under the AWA.
Upon appeal by the USDA, the decision was overturned. This strikes
a huge blow against the effort to protect all dogs in large scale breeding facilities. Because of USDA's appeal, dogs who
are used in such breeding operations, and whose puppies are sold directly to the public, have no protection under the Animal
Welfare Act. Animal protection groups have petitioned the Supreme Court to request the case be heard.
The HSUS's Role
The HSUS has been fighting a relentless battle against puppy mills
since the early 1980s, including monitoring the USDA's performance in this area and pushing for better AWA enforcement.
In 1984, the General Accounting Office, the investigative agency of
the U.S. Congress, found major deficiencies in the enforcement of the AWA regulations concerning puppy mills. Despite improvements
in its inspection process, the USDA lacks the resources to effectively enforce these regulations.
In 1990, frustrated by the apathy of federal and state officials,
The HSUS led a nationwide boycott of puppies from the seven worst puppy mill states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska,
Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. The boycott captured a great deal of national media attention, including numerous newspaper articles
and television reports on shows such as 20/20, Good Morning, America, and The Today Show.
Raids on puppy mills subsequently took place in Kansas, where the
state legislature, attempting to protect recalcitrant puppy mill operators by hampering investigators, enacted a law making
it a felony to photograph a puppy mill facility.
As the horror of puppy mills gained attention, some states responded
with 'lemon laws' to protect consumers who buy puppies. As of
August 2001, 17 states had enacted laws or issued regulations that allow consumers to receive refunds or the reimbursement
of veterinary bills when a sick puppy is purchased. While these laws place a limited onus on pet stores and puppy mills to
sell healthy puppies, and theoretically improve conditions at the breeding facilities, The HSUS feels that they do not adequately
protect the animals who suffer in these establishments.
Latest Developments and HSUS Action
Facing an unreliable regulatory environment and legislatures unwilling
to pass statutes that directly combat the problem of mass breeders and their nationwide network of dealers, The HSUS continues
to target the consumer for its anti-puppy-mill messages. Consumer demand for purebred puppies, more than any other factor,
perpetuates the misery of puppy mills.
Unfortunately, a dog's lifespan is often longer than a consumer's
desire to maintain this "product." As a result, millions of dogs are sent to animal shelters every year, where roughly half
will be euthanized. The HSUS estimates that one in four of the dogs that enter U.S. animal shelters is purebred.
As a nation, we claim to love cats and dogs. Millions of households have pets, and billions of dollars are spent yearly
on pet supplies and food. But as a nation, we should take a hard, sobering look at a different annual statistic: the millions
of dogs and cats given up to shelters or left to die on the streets. And the numbers tell only half the story.
Every cat or dog who dies as a result of pet overpopulation—whether humanely in a shelter or by injury, disease,
or neglect—is an animal who, more often than not, would have made a wonderful companion, if given the chance. Tremendous
as the problem of pet overpopulation is, it can be solved if each of us takes just one small step, starting with not allowing
our animals to breed. Here's information about this crisis and why spaying and neutering is the first step to a solution.